Making the Transition from Startup to Hypergrowth in Customer Success
Katie Rogers currently serves as the VP of Customer Success at SalesLoft, where she built the customer success department from the ground up. Salesloft is one of the fastest growing startup companies in SaaS today, due in no small part to Katie’s attention to detail and her wealth of knowledge in the customer success space. Katie brought this insight and knowledge to the CS100 stage, where she spoke to the engaged audience on starting and scaling an effective customer success team.
Watch the CS100 summit presentation with Katie Rogers below:
Katie’s background in traveling and sports took her to Atlanta, where she actually got her job with SalesLoft through a Tweet! As the 7th SalesLoft employee, Katie has seen customer success scaling first hand from a small company to the fast-growth SaaS organization SalesLoft is today.
The Evolution of the SalesLoft Customer Success Organization
Katie was actually the first CSM at SalesLoft. She has seen the company grow from 7 employees to over 100 team members and from 72 customers to over 1,500 customers in just three years. This intense growth rate also meant intense team evolution. Katie ended her first year at SalesLoft with three new employees reporting to her, beginning the first stages of scaling the organization. Although these new hires began as all-purpose employees, Katie soon realized that each one had their own strengths and segmented them out into individual roles.
Today, the customer success team at SalesLoft includes technical support engineers and implementation leads, who help bridge the gap between sales and implementation of the platform.
The key to keeping the customer success team on goal and on target is having clear goals and metrics available to all team members. Explicit job descriptions and performance plans help keep employees on the ball at all times. Katie is now in the process of scaling her organization, adding on customer success operations and professional service roles.
The goal of any customer success organization is to impact the customer’s life for the better, and in 2016 SalesLoft did just that – they were named the highest rated product based on customer satisfaction by G2 Growd by their customers. Credibility and awards such as these are a huge testament to not only the customer success department but the company as a whole.
The SalesLoft Client Experience
For many SaaS companies, the handoff between sales and customer service departments can either cause headaches all around (even for the customer!) or be rousing successes. Katie took it upon herself and her department to ensure the handoff process was seamless and effortless. Internal documentation and communication between teams are key to knowing what parties are responsible for what steps.
Katie and her sales counterpart invested time in training team members on these steps through team meetings, shadowing sessions, and even role play examples. Leaders are keeping a pulse on the customer experience to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. This also comes into play when setting client expectations. These include:
- Sharing what the implementation steps are and the timeline.
- Ensuring everyone knows who they are speaking to and their individual goals.
- Understanding what success looks like after the kick-off call is over.
- Asking the right questions and setting the right follow-up expectations.
Since SalesLoft deals with sales teams, they know their client’s time is money. Katie knows timely recaps are key and productivity is power – never waste your client’s time.
Customer Success Tool Hacks
Today, SalesLoft knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping clients happy while scaling at an incredible pace. Katie estimated that her team spends about 60% of their time on the phones and the other 40% on email following up on client requests. Here are some of her go-to tools:
- Calendly: Say goodbye to double bookings forever! Simple scheduling is a game changer for busy CSM teams who are trying to juggle multiple clients and still provide that personalized touch.
- Mouse Light: This simple spotlight tool helps focus your audience’s attention by illuminating the most important parts of your presentation.
- Boomerang: This email reminder tool helps keep emails top of mind and hold employees and their contacts responsible at all times.
- Atext: This typing accelerator helps ensure all communication is on point, personal, and – most importantly – grammatically correct.
As Katie wrapped up her CS100 presentation, she reiterated the point that scaling, for any company, is extremely tough. Even SalesLoft had their setbacks in their time. But at the end of the day, driving new initiatives and growing business processes is 100% worth it. It’s important to respond to critical feedback as well as appreciate big wins in order to grow.
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